Telecom Italia is rolling out LTE-Advanced across Italy with Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm, after trialling the technology on the 1800Mhz and 2600MHz bands in Turin.
The operator currently covers 812 Italian cities and 56 percent of the population with 4G LTE and aims to extend this to 80 percent population coverage by 2016. It is spending €3.4 billion on “new” technology, with almost a quarter of it being spent on “mobile ultra broadband”.
Last month, Telecom Italia held a trial of LTE-A in Turin, allowing customers to download at speeds up to 180MBps, double that of the current rates on Italian networks. The operator demonstrated the speeds at shops in the city, showing how it can be used to stream 4K content or HD films from the operator’s own TIMVision service.
Roberto Opilio, Telecom Italia’s Technology Director, said: “The launch once again demonstrates our ability to innovate, confirming our leadership in research and development in mobile networks. With Advanced LTE, we want to make a faster and more reliable infrastructure available to our clients, which will respond to the growing demand for mobile broadband and the use of innovative services and applications. This way, TIM’s clients can navigate the Internet with higher performance and higher quality, using mobile multimedia content in both Full HD and 4K format.”
ABI Research has previously predicted that there will be half a billion LTE-A subscriptions by 2018. This will represent 34 percent of total LTE subscriptions. North America was dubbed the most aggressive LTE-A market, followed by Asia-Pacific, then Europe.